Last we discussed the “stasis” - the beginning of the story where life just seems to be plugging along with nothing special happening.
“It was Christmas Eve, and I treated myself to a pizza. I ordered it and then got in my car to go pick it up before the restaurant closed for the holiday.”
In play and screen writing the place where the story takes off is called “the inciting incident.” It’s the point in the story where something happens which changes the journey of the hero and from which there is no turning back.
Sometimes inciting incidents are a collective of things. Sometimes it is a decision the hero makes. And sometimes it is an outward force, like a person they meet or a rock thrown through their front window.
“It was Christmas Eve, and I treated myself to a pizza. I ordered it and then got in my car to go pick it up before the restaurant closed for the holiday. As I was traveling in the right lane, a car came across my lane, making a left turn in to the CVS parking lot. I had no choice but to hit her back end...”
The car crossing into my lane is the inciting incident. It launches the story of a quiet holiday night with pizza into–something else.
Once upon a time...stasis...until one day...something happens.
So, the next step is, what will the hero do about it? How will they move forward in this new altered world?
When you tell as story in common conversation, you start with your stasis, but the opening reason for telling the story is the thing that changed that made you take action.
So how does the action unfold?